Why flowers are colorful?
Have you wondered why flowers are colorful ? why the rose is red, and sunflower is yellow? Why nature made them so amazing? What is the science behind this stuff?
Flowers are amongst the most crucial part of everyone’s life because of their colors. Let there be a birthday, valentine’s day, a marriage, a teacher’s day or a sad funeral, we all use the flowers. We exchange them as a token of love. We use them to make the environment more beautiful. And indeed, they make us happier! It is all because of the beautiful and mesmerizing colors, the flowers have !
Why flowers have to be colorful?
Before getting into this, first of all, it is essential to know:
why even flowers exist let alone colorful?
No, don’t think that pleasing human-beings is the only function they have! Nope.
The purpose of flowers is only to reproduce. The biology textbooks call them the ‘reproductive structures of flowering plants.’
The reproduction in plants is commonly known as pollination. The explanation of all these parts and processes can be found somewhere else in straightforward language.
You will be amazed to know that some are ‘complete flowers’ with both the male and female reproductive organs, while some are ‘incomplete flowers’ with either male or female reproductive organs.
Some examples of perfect flowers are rose, lily, and tulip, whereas some of the imperfect flowers are the flowers on cottonwood, willow, and date.
So, is having beautiful colors is related to reproduction and procreation? The answer is YES.
Let us see now why the colors?
The bright colors of the flowers are to attract the birds, insects, and bees towards them. These animals are also known as pollinators because they help the plants in pollination.
The color acts as bait. When these creatures visit the flowers to get the nectar or sweet, the pollens stick to their bodies. And when they visit the other flowers, the pollens get transferred. That’s it! The role of these pollinators is over.
We know that stems of the plants are usually green. So, naturally, the flowers (and the fruits) have to be colorful so that the birds and bees can see them.
Therefore, if the plants have to be assisted for pollination by the animals, then they have to be colorful. But if the pollination requires just wind or water, then no colors are needed. It is okay to have dull colors because the air and wind don’t have eyes!
Now, think of two plants. One is a simple grass. The pollination takes place just by wind. Therefore, there is no other color requirement than a typical green, and No yummy nectar and sweet as a reward is needed.
On the other hand, think about salvia, a blue flower.
Bees attract towards them as they are rich in nectar. And in exchange, they help them pollinate and therefore retain their existence in the world.
Pollinators and flower colors and fragrance
By the way, did you know? Flowers’ colors are also related to the pollinators involved.
For example, Hummingbirds like to hover on red, pink, and purple flowers. Butterflies like to roam on yellow, pink, and red flowers (the bright colored) and bees like to buzz over blue and violet flowers.
Did you know why the fragrance of the flowers is so astonishing?
Well, for the same reasons. Bees and flies attract towards the sweet-scenting flowers. On the other hand, the beetles like the spicy or fruity smells. The scent also helps the night-blooming flowers. These flowers get help nocturnal-creatures such as bat and moth Since they cannot see colors in the night, the fragrance helps!
When the flowers are ready to be pollinated, their scent is more energetic, and the colors are brighter.
So, I hope you would have understood the ‘importance of colorful flowers for flowers and the fragrance.’
Now, a little bit of hardship. Let us know the science behind the color in brief. How these colors come into the picture?
How flowers get colors?
Let’s understand the truth. The world is nothing but a battle-ground. We all want to live. But only the fittest will survive. Not as a single animal / a single plant but as a species. We all try to keep our genes and DNA from being transferred from generation to others. Similarly, to survive and to exist forever, the flowers have gradually become colorful. It is essential because it assists the reproduction (or pollination).
The plants have some tiny little objects in them called pigments. There are two classes of flower pigments, namely, carotenoids and flavonoids. Carotenoids include carotene pigment, and flavonoids include anthocyanin pigment.
The color of the pigment decides the color of the flower. For instance, carotene imparts color to carrots, tomatoes, and even sunflowers (yellow, orange, and red colors). The pigment anthocyanin gives colors like red, magenta and blue (roses, cornflower)
Interestingly, most of the time, color is not just because of a particular or specific pigment but affected by other factors. For instance, the pigment’ anthocyanin’ is responsible for the red color in roses and blue in cornflower petals due to some metallic ions.
The DNA of the plants already decides the color of the flowers on it. It is like the genetic information we have carried over from our parents.
I hope you would have enjoyed this post about the flowers and their colors. You can share this post with your friends just like you share flowers with them 😊